SEO Toaster is a product by a company called SEO Samba and is touted as “Most advanced SEO CMS & Ecommerce website builder right out of the box, free and open source”.
Does it actually stand true to this statement? Let's investigate.
You can download the product from the SEO Toaster website (link at the bottom of this review).
Once you've installed the product (a fairly painless process) you are greeted with a rather plain page:
As you can see in the screenshot above, it states that there is no admin area and you can edit text immediately by “clicking here” except there's nothing there. Typically, if you had first authenticated yourself, you'd actually see something where the arrow is pointing. If you have not, however, you would be totally lost.
There is no easy hidden link to authenticate and if you installed the system and wanted to come back to it in a few days, you may not remember that the path to the authentication screen is http://yourdomain.com/go which could leave you stumbling around frustrated for a few before you can find the way in.
Is this a game breaker? Of course not, but it is something that I think needs to be corrected or improved on.
Let's assume now that you have authenticated yourself, you would see a small box with a letter in it and the screenshot above explains their meaning.
Once you are logged in, you will have a “show/hide dashboard” function as shown below:
True, it might not be the most attractive looking dashboard, but it works and is fast to navigate the options which is what matters.
Browsing through the functionality we have a number of menu options. The screenshot below shows the configuration management screen where you can make minor config changes:
Template editing is also supported:
There is also a quick screen for editing your pages properties as well with all of the necessary SEO functions available to edit:
One of the nice new features they've added is shopping configuration which also has it's own quick config screen and looks rather easy to use:
Ok. Now that we've shown you some of the pages, let's talk about what we liked and disliked about this product and perhaps this will help you decide if it's the right fit for your needs.
First let me say that this is a really fast website builder. It is very quick (mostly due to the lack of graphics) and works as it should for the most part. It has a good chunk of functionality and includes the most common SEO functions one would expect.
The addition of the payment integration is nice but currently only supports PayPal which is a bit limiting. However, at least it has some form of ecommerce functionality.
I would not, however, call this the most advanced SEO and eCommerce website builder available and that's the part that I am struggling with. I most certainly think it's a good product and it appears to have tons of potential, but I see no advanced SEO functionality that is different from any other website builder or CMS I've tested. Also, considering the ecommerce options are limited, it's not really right to call that piece advanced either.
Are these issues with the product? No.
Does this mean you should avoid it? Absolutely not.
In fact, I would recommend you test it out and provide feedback to the SEO Samba team so they can improve the product. I think functionally, it's a very good system with a ton of potential that is just waiting to be fully realized.
Sure, they jumped the gun a bit with their motto but that's part of marketing and you can't fault them that.
Wanna try it? Get your copy here: http://www.seotoaster.com